Only Lyon - Tourism and Conventions

Balcon d'Ainay © Jacques Leone
Bas-port Gillet © Jacques Leone
Passerelle du Palais de Justice © Jacques Leone
Promenade à Fontaines-sur-Saône © Jacques Leone
© Jacques Leone
© Jacques Leone
© Jacques Leone
© Jacques Leone

Reconquering the banks of the river Saone

Isabelle Soares, head of the Rives de Saône umbrella project

The banks of the river Saone form a walkway punctuated with works of art that goes from Confluence to Rochetaillée-sur-Saône: a 15 km walk, both urban and pastoral, to rediscover the charms of the river banks.

Can you tell us about these Rives de Saône developments?

The  Rives de Saône  project is part of an approach that aims to reconquer the banks of the rivers. It began in 2002 with the redevelopment of  the  banks of the Rhone . This is a vegetated walkway that runs alongside the river, and enables the inhabitants of greater Lyon to rediscover the Saone and its great wealth. The project highlights and protects the area's ecological heritage and the surrounding buildings, as well as the different uses made of the banks and river (rowing, fishing, walking…). 

What are the original features of the project? 

This walk has been punctuated by some twenty works of art by associated artists. These works, which were designed in coordination with the with the designers who have been at the heart of the project from the very beginning, are perfectly in line with the history and landscape, and are first and foremost areas where people can stop to take a look at the Saône. The artist Tadashi Kawamata, who has provided the common theme for the project, is the author of 6 works of art dotted throughout the walk, in the form of cabins and raw wood belvederes for instance. 

What sort of landscapes can be seen throughout the walk? 

In Lyon, this walkway is a way of rediscovering the town and the façades of the buildings in the   old part of  Lyon  as seen from the banks, and in a peaceful setting. It then goes on through 'bas-port' and the Gillet embankment, then on through Caluire via a highly vegetated and more pastoral pathway, then draws close to the mysterious  Barbe Island , where the banks widen, all the way to Fontaine-sur-Saône then Rochetaillée-sur-Saône, where the wide beaches host open-air dances. 

Can you tell us about future Rives de Saône developments? 

The Confluence section (included in phase 1 of the Rives de Saône umbrella project) is currently under construction. Furthermore, a second phase of the Rives de Saône project is getting underway with the Presqu’ile Terraces project: this project will begin with the construction of a new underground car park under Quai Saint-Antoine, to replace the existing one. Once the latter has been demolished, it will free a vast area, over 35 metres wide, in bas-port, which will have been turned into a river garden by 2020.

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